Sunday 18 August 2019

Ireland's Michelle O'Neill will make history at this year's Super Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea

Michelle O’Neill will be part of the Super Cup final
Michelle O’Neill will be part of the Super Cup final

PA Sport

Irish women Michelle O'Neill will be part of a historic occasion at this year's UEFA Super Cup between Liverpool and Chelsea.

Stephanie Frappart will becomes the first woman to referee a major European men's game when she takes charge of the clash in Istanbul on August 14.

The French official will be joined by the two female assistant referees who worked with her in last month's Women's World Cup final: compatriot Manuela Nicolosi and O'Neill.

The 35-year-old became the first female to referee a Ligue 1 match in April, when she officiated a game between Amiens and Strasbourg, and she has been promoted to an elite pool of referees for French top-flight games for the new season.

But she is not the first woman to be assigned to a competitive men's match by UEFA, as Switzerland's Nicole Petignat refereed three UEFA Cup qualifying round games between 2004 and 2009.

In a statement, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: "As an organisation, we place the utmost importance on the development of women's football in all areas.

"I hope the skill and devotion that Stephanie has shown throughout her career to reach this level will provide inspiration to millions of girls and women around Europe and show them there should be no barriers in order to reach one's dream."

UEFA chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti added that Frappart "fully deserves" her chance on this stage and said he hopes "this match will provide her with yet more experience as she enters the prime of her refereeing career".

The three women on the pitch at Besiktas Park will be backed by an all-male supporting cast, with Turkey's Cuneyt Cakir acting as fourth official and Frenchman Clement Turpin leading the VAR unit.

The Super Cup is played between the winners of last season's Champions League and Europa League, and is often considered to be the curtain-raiser for the European season.

PA Media

The Throw-In All-Ireland Hurling Final preview: Can Tipp's firepower edge clash with the Cats?

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport